The Love, Simon Cast Wants to Change the Narrative About Diversity in Hollywood
The 'Love, Simon' Cast Wants to Change the Narrative About Diversity
"A lot of the time, if there's more than one black person, there's no more."
PRIDE sat down with the cast of the upcoming gay, teen rom-com, Love, Simon to talk about the film's notably diverse cast. Of the four main leads, two are people of color, which is unfortunately rare in Hollywood productions.
Alexandra Shipp, who plays Simon's friend Abby, believes it was colorblind casting on the director, Greg Berlanti's part.
"I think [diversity is] really important, and I think it was not a specific choice," Shipp said. "These actors encompass these characters. It's not a matter of skin tone, it's a matter of talent and artistic representation of these characters."
"I hope people are like Greg [Berlanti] when they're making movies so that there's more representation," chimed in Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays Bram in the film, also spoke to us about the fear many people of color have when auditioning for movies when other POCs are already cast. "When you know another black actor is cast in a film or tv show, you think, 'Oh I'm not going to get anything in it then. They've already got one black guy.'''
Lonsdale believes Love, Simon is a game changer: "This proves that that's not the case. Just because one black person has gotten an opportunity doesn't mean that you can't also."
"A lot of the time, if there's more than one black person, there's no more. No mas," Shipp agreed. "I feel like it's the same with LGBTQ characters as well. If there's one gay kid, there can't be a second. God forbid. And I think that we're changing that narrative.
Multiple gay characters and people of color have the integral moments in the film, and the cast couldn't be more excited about it. "That's real life!" exclaims Lonsdale. "It just comes from smart people who care about spreading a universal truth, and it feels organic."
Love, Simon hits theaters everywhere on Friday, March 16.